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best movie genres The Best Political Films Ever Made  

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Political movies can approach the notion of politics and government from numerous perspectives, and with many wildly divergent purposes. Some of the earliest and best-remembered films were essentially propaganda tools being used by a political party or ideological group, hoping that the new media of cinema could be useful in helping to persuade or mollify the masses. (In some cases, as with the Nazi documentary "Triumph of the Will" or Sergei Eisenstein's massively influential "Battleship Potemkin," they were undeniable successful, at least initially.)

Political films can also serve the opposite purpose, encouraging people to distrust or even fear their government, or attacking an individual politician or political movement specifically. The paranoia thrillers of the 1970s, for example, reflected America's distrust in its own leaders following the Watergate and other corruption scandals. More recently, George Clooney's political film "Good Night, and Good Luck" told a true story about journalist Edward R. Murrow facing off against Joseph McCarthy, but as a way of discussing political issues that remained relevant even upon its release in 2005.

Many Americans' understanding of complex political situations, both in their homeland and in other countries, as well, comes from watching popular political films. For example, the satirical take on the politics of war in "Wag the Dog," the insights into Greek politics provided by Costa-Gavras "Z" or the look at Bolivian elections in the documentary "Our Brand is Crisis."

This list includes notable and significant political movies from throughout cinema history from all different styles and genres where the movies are classifies as films about politics. It is Vote Ranked and Open, so be sure to vote up your favorite political films, vote down the political movies you don't think belong on the list and add any other suggestions you have at the bottom of the page of the best films about politics.

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All the President's Men is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
All the President's Men Richard Nixon, Dustin Hoffman, Robert Redford

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Dr. Strangelove or: How I Lear... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb James Earl Jones, Peter Sellers, George C. Scott

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The Great Dictator Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Goddard, Billy Gilbert

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Mr. Smith Goes to Washington James Stewart, Claude Rains, Jean Arthur

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The Manchurian Candidate Frank Sinatra, Angela Lansbury, Janet Leigh

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Wag the Dog Kirsten Dunst, Robert De Niro, Dustin Hoffman

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Thank You for Smoking Katie Holmes, Robert Duvall, Maria Bello

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Good Night, and Good Luck George Clooney, Robert Downey Jr., Jeff Daniels

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Traffic Salma Hayek, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Michael Douglas

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Being There Shirley MacLaine, Peter Sellers, Jack Warden

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The Queen Helen Mirren, Michael Sheen, James Cromwell

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Dave Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sigourney Weaver, Jay Leno

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All the King's Men Broderick Crawford, John Ireland, John Derek

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Seven Days in May Kirk Douglas, Ava Gardner, Burt Lancaster

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V for Vendetta Natalie Portman, John Hurt, Hugo Weaving

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Gorky Park William Hurt, Lee Marvin, Brian Dennehy

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JFK Kevin Costner, Gary Oldman, Kevin Bacon

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Election Reese Witherspoon, Matthew Broderick, Chris Klein

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Malcolm X Denzel Washington, Al Sharpton, Nelson Mandela

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Milk is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Milk James Franco, Sean Penn, Josh Brolin

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Reds Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton, Gene Hackman

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Michael Collins Julia Roberts, Liam Neeson, Alan Rickman

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Z Jean-Louis Trintignant, Yves Montand, Jacques Perrin

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Nixon Anthony Hopkins, James Woods, Ed Harris

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The American President Annette Bening, Michael J. Fox, Michael Douglas

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The Mouse That Roared Peter Sellers, Jean Seberg, William Hartnell

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Bob Roberts Susan Sarandon, Jack Black, Helen Hunt

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Team America: World Police Matt Stone, Trey Parker, Maurice LaMarche

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Young Mr. Lincoln Henry Fonda, Ward Bond, Donald Meek

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Primary Colors John Travolta, Emma Thompson, Bill Maher

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Carlos Martha Higareda, Édgar Ramírez, Emmanuelle Bercot

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The Falcon and the Snowman Sean Penn, Timothy Hutton, Michael Ironside

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Medium Cool Peter Boyle, Robert Forster, Peter Bonerz

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Where the Buffalo Roam Bill Murray, Craig T. Nelson, Peter Boyle

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Bananas Sylvester Stallone, Woody Allen, Danny DeVito

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The Ides of March George Clooney, Evan Rachel Wood, Ryan Gosling

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In the Loop James Gandolfini, Anna Chlumsky, Peter Capaldi

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The Baader Meinhof Complex Alexandra Lara, Bruno Ganz, Nadja Uhl

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Bobby Lindsay Lohan, Demi Moore, Sharon Stone

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Amazing Grace Benedict Cumberbatch, Michael Gambon, Ioan Gruffudd

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Hoffa Jack Nicholson, Danny DeVito, Tim Burton

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Dick Kirsten Dunst, Will Ferrell, Ryan Reynolds

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The Weather Underground Lili Taylor, Bill Ayers, Bernardine Dohrn

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The Argentine Oscar Isaac, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Benicio del Toro

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An Unreasonable Man Ralph Nader, Phil Donahue, Eric Alterman

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Our Brand Is Crisis is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Political Films Ever Made
Our Brand Is Crisis James Carville

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Fair Game Naomi Watts, Sean Penn, Ty Burrell